Can a £4/$5 Graphics Card Game in 2019?

Hey there everyone, hope yous all had a good
new year.
Today we’re taking a look back at the Radeon
HD 3450 from AMD.
It came in variants of 512MB and 256MB of
DDR2 memory on a 64-bit wide bus, but today,
we have the 256MB version form MSI.
The 3450, with a core clock of 600MHz and
a memory clock of 500MHz (1000MHz effective
due to the nature of DDR2 memory), released
in January of 2008 with a tdp of 25w and used
the RV620 GPU (RV620 LE variant specifically).
It used the Terascale architecture and featured
181 million transistors built on the 55nm
fabrication process and came packing 22 compute
units, 40 shading units, 4 raster operations
pipelines and 4 texture mapping units.
Given that is is fairly old by today’s standards,
the 3450 won’t support the latest games but
is does carry support for direct x 10.1 and
OpenGL 3.3 and requires a monitor that supports
DVI, VGA or S-Video connections unless you
have an adapter.
Originally, the 3450 released at a price of
US$49 which is around US$57 today, adjusting
for inflation, or around £45 or €52 today.
You can pick it up much more cheaply today
as I’m sure you can imagine, for as little
as £4 at CEX here in the UK, when it is in
stock and on Ebay in America, you can buy
it for around US$7 with free postage.
The rst of the system I’ll be using today
features an i7 6700k @ 4.8GHz (this eliminates
any bottlenecks in performance other than
the 3450 itself), a MSI Z270 SLI Plus motherboard,
16GB Corsair Vengeance DDR4 RAM @ 2800MHz,
and Windows 10 Pro 64-bit, so let’s get the
tests started.
First up, I thought I’d put the 3450 through
Unigine Heaven 4.0, as I wanted to get an
idea of its benchmarking performance rather
than just run it through a few games.
I decided to use the Basic preset within Unigine
Heaven and I also changed it to run fullscreen
as well.
At the factory stock 600MHz core clock and
500MHz memory clock, the 3450 managed a score
of only 71 points, far far below what the
budget cards of today can manage.
Overclocking wise, I managed to get another
155MHz out of the core and 145MHz out of the
memory for an overclock of 755MHz on the core
and 645MHz on the memory.
At this speed, the hd 34500 managed almost
30% greater performance with a score of 88.
I like to start off the tests normally with
Grand Theft Auto 5, which had its much anticipated
PC release back in 2015 and is still a great
game for benchmarking today due to its popularity.
Unfotunately though, the game was completely
It was genuinely one of the worst performers
in the history of my channel.
Due to the HD 3450 being a budget card, even
when it was released, I decided to run the
game at the lowest resolution possible, 800×600
with 50% frame scaling, meaing that the game
was effectively rendering at only 400×300.
Despite this, as I said, the game was totally
FPS in the city was between 10-17fps and the
game showed some pretty severe input lag and
input locking as well.
The input locking, which is kind of like say
when the throttle or steering sticks on a
car, was so severe that I gave up on running
any kind of benchmark due to it.
I was really hoping for something at least
resembling a playable game, and with CSGO
I sort of got that to an extent.
I also ran this at the lowest settings and
resolution I could, 640×480, and I ran the
test in a competitive, hard difficulty bot
match on the Mirage map.
Fps tended to be around the high 30s to the
high 50s throughout the test and seemed to
run smoothly at times, although it did suffer
from some pretty noticeable stuttering occasionally,
and combat was also pretty difficult at times
as well.
A fraps benchmark showed an average of 49fps,
with 1% and 0.1% lows of 27 and 24 fps respectively.
There was also some gaps between some of the
frames of ~ 70-100ms.
Overall, it was mostly playable, however you
may want to think twice about going online,
as the stuttering and sometimes difficult
combat will effect your experience against
real people in the game.
Another game that is still pretty popular
today is Skyrim, specifically the original
version of the game from 2011, not the remastered
version released in 2016.
And like the previous 2 games, I turned the
settings and resolution right down to the
low preset at 800×600 and also disabled depth
of field through the game’s ini file.
Given the games age, I was kind of surprised
it didn’t perform better than it did, although
in saying that, I’m forgetting that the HD
3450 was never meant for gaming, even on its
initial release 11 years ago now.
The game only managed around 20-30fps on the
walk to Riverwood and as you’ve probably noticed
by now, there was also a weird issue with
the textures flickering like crazy throughout
the game and trust me, the 3450 isn’t artifacting.
The game also quite noticeably micro-stutters
at times and occasionally drops below 20fps
as well.
Another issue I notice was that there was
some input lag with the mouse which didn’t
effet the test too much but was definitely
still noticeable.
Inside Bleak Falls Temple, I also had issues
with the textures for cobwebs not loading
at all, leading you to wander why on Earth
you can’t get through the door to fight the
giant spider for example.
The fraps benchmark showed an average of 30fps
with 14 and 10fps for its 1% and 0.1% lows
With gaps between some of the frames as bad
as 280ms being observed in the frametime graph.
Lastly before I overclock the card, it’s Warframe,
which is a personal favourite of mine and
had its inital release back in 2013.
Like Skyrim, I ran Warframe at 800×600 with
the lowest settings preset I could.
And I ran the test in a Survival mission on
Unfortunately, the game was beyond unplayable.
There was a very noticeable amount of input
lag which had a big effect on the gameplay,
and in intense scenes with lots of enemies,
there was a noticeable slow down in the game
with a massive reduction in weapon fire rate
happening too.
Fps throughout, was no higher than 22 frames
per second and dropped as low as 12fps in
the most intense scenes.
The fraps benchmark showed an average framerate
of ovly 18 frames per second, with 1% and
0.1% lows of 12 and 10fps respectively, with
gaps between frames of 100ms and over occuring
throught the whole test.
Moving in to overclocking and I was quite
surprised how far I was able to push it.
As I mentioned during the Unigine Heaven test
earlier, the HD 3450 managed 755MHz on the
core with 645MHz on the memory.
And that is without an increase in voltage
as the 3450 doesn’t have voltage control.
Both CSGO and Warframe were OK with this as
well and ran perfectly stable but GTA V and
Skyrim couldn’t cope with, they however, managed
730 and 735MHz on the core respectively with
the same 645MHz memory overclock.
With GTA V, any improvement over what it managed
at stock would be a good thing.
The game is unfortunately still pretty unplayable
but I was at least able to run a benchmark.
FPS was still in the low 10s to ~20fps and
overall, the game ran a lot smoother throughout
the city, it did however still stutter quite
The input lag was also much less, that though
was still pretty significant at times and
I almost gave up on the benchmark due to how
it effected the playability of the missions.
Moving out to the desert area, around where
Trevor lives, there was also some noticeable
input locking here as well, although it wasn’t
so bad that I couldn’t get around.
That aside, the fps here was below 20fps,
making the game quite unplayable due to how
jarring an experience it is.
The fraps benchmark showed an average of 19fps
with 1% and 0.1% lows of 11 and 8fps respectively.
There were also multiple gaps betwwen some
frames of around 100ms up to 280ms at its
worst accroding to the frametime graph.
With CSGO, there was a pretty significant
improvement to performance.
Whereas at stock, there was noticeable micro-sttuter
throughout, the overclock has the game running
reasonably smooth.
Combat is also much easier as well which makes
the game so much more playable than it was
without the overclock.
Fps tended to sit around the low 40s to the
low 80s but indoors, it would creep up to
~100 frames per second which is awesome for
such a low powered card, if you put the low
resolution to one side.
The fraps benchmark showed an average of 61fps,
with 1% and 0.1% low framerates of 31 and
27fps respectively.
There were hoever a number of dips below 30fps
accordig to the frametime graph, but these
fortunately, weren’t noticeable.
With Skyrim, the overclock did nothing to
fix the texture flickering issue I saw at
stock clocks, although, I wasn’t expecting
any change there anyway.
It did however have a pretty significant impact
on performance at times.
The walk towards Riverwood near the start
of the game, has fps figures in the mid 30s
to low 40s, although, this drops to around
the low to high 20s once you head into the
Riverwood Trader.
It’s still fairly easy to move around here
Once you get into Bleakfalls Temple, the performance
can get pretty bad.
Fps sits in the low 20s at points and there’s
also some pretty noticeable stutter here too.
The issue with the cobweb textures not rendering
remains as well.
The fraps benchmark showed average, 1% and
0.1% lows of 35, 17 and 13 frames per second
respectively, with the frametime graph showing
some pretty significant gaps betwwen some
of the frames of around 100-260ms.
With Warframe, given that it is one of my
favourites right now, I was rooting for it
to have a massive improvement.
And at first, things seemed pretty hopeful.
That didn’t last though, as the performance
throughout the mission was pretty horrible
at times.
Fps managed to get to around the 30fps mark
but the game was unfortunately still reallly
stuttery and dipped below 15fps at the worst
of times with a very significant and noticeable
slowdown in the game being observed much like
at stock clocks.
The fraps benchmark showed average, 1% and
0.1% low framerates of 24, 15 and 14fps respectively,
with gaps between frames of around 60-80ms
happening throughout the whole test.
Overall, I was a bit disapointed about how
the HD 3450 performed.
It wasn’t intended for gaming, even when it
was released 11 years ago, but at least expected
close to playable performance at the resolution
I tested the games at, which GTA V, Skyrim
and Warframe just couldn’t offer.
Saying that though, with an overclock, CSGO
was actually quite enjoyable, if you’re happy
to use 640×480.
There’s just something about really low power
graphics cards and processors I like, so I
still had a good time testing the HD 3450
regardless of how it performed.
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So, thanks for watching, and hopefully I’ll
see you in the next one!

6 thoughts on “Can a £4/$5 Graphics Card Game in 2019?

  1. it can be useful as a display adapter to test motherboards, also its tiny low profile, although it won't be as a daily driver for anyone.

  2. I have a PC ive been putting together with e-waste and it has a GeForce 210 in it. Only slightly better performance than this card. It really is just a display adapter right now. I'm looking to upgrade to a 670 or r9 260 so I can use to to run am Ark server. It's surprising how much useful electronics get thrown away. The PC is an AMD phenom 9650 which I upgraded over the sempron that used to be in it. 8gb ddr2 and a nice 480w modular antec PSU. All housed in a really nice looking Lenovo case

  3. Use it for web browser or vintage console emulator pc or a music sever in other words old stuff is still worthit

  4. today i found 2 alike hd3450 cards in the trash… i wonder if its possible to put them into crossfire

  5. The HD3850 was my very first 'high end' GPU ever, back in 2011 ( I got it used) it would be nice if you made a video about that too! =D

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